Helwick Lightship, Swansea, Wales.
N 51° 36.964 W 003° 56.367
30U E 434956 N 5718755
Quick Description: Light Vessel Number 91 "Helwick" was in service between 1937-1977. She is preserved and in complete working order in Swansea Marina.
Location: South Wales, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/16/2011 12:50:04 PM
Waymark Code: WMD49W
Swansea Museum floating exhibits are kept in Swansea Marina - Lightship 91, known as 'Helwick', spent much of its life warning ships about the Helwick Sandbank Between Swansea & Carmarthen on the way in to the Bristol Channel.
This light vessel was built as No. 91 for the Corporation of Trinity House by Philip and Son Ltd. of Dartmouth in 1937. She was deployed on various stations, her first being the Humber from 1937 to 1942. On 3 April 1942 she was damaged in collision with steamer MAURICE ROSE and again on 1 September 1942, she was hit by the steamer ARMATHIA. She moved to her final station, the Helwick, off the Worm's Head, for the last six years of her sea-service from 1971 to 1977. Like nearly all lightships she is not self-propelled, being towed to each station by a tug. Her diesel engines were used to generate electricity to power the light and to make compressed air to operate the fog horn.
LV 91 had eight 110 volt (375 watt) lamps giving 650,000 candle power. Whilst stationed on Helwick her lamp sequence was 0.5 second flash and 9.5 second eclipse. Her fog horn, powered by compressed air at 35lbs per square inch sounded one blast of three seconds followed by twenty seven seconds of silence. Her full complement of crew was two masters and nine men who rotated on a four week cycle with only seven onboard at any one time. The crew were relieved by boat right up until her retirement as the layout of the deck with two masts meant that there was no space to build a landing platform for helicopters. Swansea Museum acquired LV 91 in 1977 with a 50% grant from the Science Museum and monies raised by The Friends of the Maritime and Industrial Museum.